Chris Christie rails against NRA, calls ad 'reprehensible'
January 17th, 2013
06:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Chris Christie rails against NRA, calls ad 'reprehensible'

(CNN) – Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey skewered the National Rifle Association Thursday for referencing the president's children in a political attack commercial.

Speaking in a press conference, the outspoken governor decried the move as "reprehensible" and argued the group lost some credibility by making the ad.

"And I think for any of us who are public figures, you see that kind of ad and you cringe. You cringe because it's just not appropriate in my view to do that," he said. "They've got real issues to debate on this topic. Get to the real issues. Don't be dragging peoples' children into this. It's wrong."

Video of his comments were posted on the governor's official YouTube page.

The NRA ad, which blasts President Obama as an "elitist hypocrite," asks why he opposes the idea of placing armed guards in every school–a proposal pushed by the NRA–despite the fact that his own children attend a school with similar security.

"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" a narrator says in the 30-second ad. "Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school."

Released Tuesday night, the ad only airs on the Sportsman Channel, but has gained strong media attention, both on the airwaves and online.

Christie, a father of four, said the commercial went too far.

"My children had no choice realistically in what I've decided to do with my career and what effect that's had on their lives," he said. "The president doesn't have a choice and his children don't have a choice of whether they're going to be protected or not. The reality is our lives in American society don't lead to that, and I think it's awful to bring public figures' children into the political debate. They don't deserve to be there."

Defending the ad, NRA President David Keene said Wednesday on CNN that the ad wasn't specifically about Obama's two daughters, but about all children who attend schools with private security.

"What we're talking about is folks who have protection for their own children…and then pooh-pooh the idea that the average American's children shouldn't have the same sort of protection," he said on "The Situation Room."

Christie's comments will no doubt spark some criticism from certain conservative circles that chided him for appearing too close to Obama in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed large chunks of the New Jersey shoreline. The two appeared together to survey the damage, and Obama was the subject of high praise from Christie.

While Christie has spoken out in the gun control debate, he has yet to take a firm stance on either side, saying rather the country should have a discussion about a comprehensive set of solutions rather than focusing solely on guns.

But the governor, considered to be a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, pulled no punches in expressing his thoughts about the NRA's actions, adding that such a move "demeans them."

"It makes them less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate," he said.

Filed under: Ads • Chris Christie • NRA
soundoff (862 Responses)
  1. michael

    they will be marginalized more and more hooray

    January 18, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. livingston

    I never thought I would hear myself saying this but two thumbs up to Gov Christy for having the courage to say what is right and not what the NRA demands. More and more he is showing that he isn't afraid to say that the 'emperor has no clothes'! It's about time someone stood up to the crazies in that party.

    January 18, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. Farran

    I like Governor Christie's frank approach to how he feels about things that matter. He's absolutely right. The NRA deserves a good fight. I think this time, for the first time in a long time, they know the political power of a country's grief could materially change what they stand for – and they've made a tactical error in this advertising that further pushes people toward more stringent laws. At the time we were given the right to bear arms, people were defending a country, their land, and bringing food home to their families. I believe people should have that right, but I do not believe people should have the right to bullets that can be sprayed in mere seconds.

    January 18, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  4. Mainah

    Did anyone watch Jon Stewart last night and how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms basically has been rendered powerless by Congress? Maybe we should be focusing on that issue!!!

    January 18, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. michael

    nra is about as credible as neo natzi morons

    January 18, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  6. BobFromPA

    The more this guy talks the more I like him. As a registered Republican who hasn't voted for a party member in a long time he has my interest because he seems to be a statesman, not a mindless zealot!

    January 18, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  7. chill

    Hard to beleive the NRA could demean themselves any more than they have for the past 20 years. What uese to be a fine organization to support gun safety and sportsmen and women, has become not but a viscious gang of thugs and bullies in thrall to the gun industry. They have blood on their hands for the extortion-based tactics they have used to prevent simple common sense gun regulations to keep exceedingly dangerous weapons out of the hands of unstable and criminal people. They have made use of all the whack-job conspriacy theorits runnign around loose to boost gun sales through fear.

    January 18, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  8. Jim

    I really hope this guy is for real. If he doesn't run in 2016 it will be a shame for this country. We need someone in the middle who can govern with common sense.

    January 18, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  9. dave

    The Republican party has two parts 1. a bunch of money grubbing panty wearing cowards, afraid of Limbaugh, the Tea Party, the NRA, Pro-Lifers and Fundamentalist Chistians and 2. CHRIS CHRISTIE

    January 18, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  10. Lisa

    Obama IS an elitist hypocrite and so is the rest of Congress. One example of this is how they exempted themselves from the health care that's good enough for the rest of us. They really think they are better than the people they, represent.

    January 18, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  11. R Segal

    To the Canadian It's called $$$$$. Not just the NRA, but Smith & Wesson, Remington, Colt, General Dynamics, and every other manufacturer of weapons. Why do you think we are constantly at war? Gov Christie has my support as an American gun owner. Time to get real. The facts speak for themselves.

    January 18, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  12. ItTakesGuts

    Good on Christie. Have to applaud him for speaking his mind. The NRA definitely crossed the line – congrats to the Gov for calling them on it.

    January 18, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  13. John Bower

    But is is OK for the President to use his kids and all the other kids when he's trying to make a point,,,is that what I am hearing. Christie has been kissing the Presidents hand ever since Sandy.

    January 18, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. Rick 7809

    Just see how many more roadblocks the GOP House puts in the way of NJ getting the funds they need to rebuild. Christie is right on with his comments, but that is not the way the GOP thinks. The argument that they (the NRA and GOP) are attempting to protect everyone's kids not just the rich is lafable. This from the protectors of the 1%. More GOP politicians need to stand up to the NRA or this will just be another "nail in the GOP coffin".

    January 18, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  15. Laurie

    I like Christie and how he is forging a new face for the GOP.... and hopefully they will follow and become more moderate and independent thinking as a group... cause neither party alone has the answer or represents the country as a whole.

    Yet.... I have to admit, the point of the add is that the rich and powerful get the best of everything, including security for their own children.... while those of us that are just "average" get less. Does not matter what their kids wanted their parents to do. That is a "smoke and mirror" tactic to avert the fact that the middle class of America gets it from both ends.

    This entire debate is so messed up in the first place. Almost every person that has caused headlines for violence has a known mental health issue. After being to court at a mental health facility, and seeing how the judges hands are tied because "their" rights are more important than my safety.... should be at the heat of this debate. Because if its not guns, it will be knives.... or something else that will cause harm. Mental health is a messing topic and it seems we all want to brush it under the rug.... But it is real.... and those that are sick are getting sicker and coming back into health facilities that don't have enough beds to handle them and only getting a "video conference" from a doctor... and the new health care is only going to exacerbate this problem.

    Never wanted a gun before, but this debate has raised my awareness that it is my responsibility to protect my family.... and we plan on a family to get one, and learn to use it.

    January 18, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  16. ronvan

    New Jersey has a LEADER not a follower! It is refreshing to hear an "elected official" speak their mind instead of the same old "politicalese", drool, from the rest!

    January 18, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. Lucifer1

    I think we should take this as far as we can...To protect the second amendment, everyone should have their own portable nuclear weapon! Then when there's an argument you don't just shoot the other person, you wipe out their entire neighborhood.

    January 18, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. RC

    BRAVO, Gov Christie!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. sp

    The president's children attend a private school. Most of yours don't. Neither you or I get armed protection either. He does. Anyone who tries to put themselves on par with any president from any party in any situation is either delusional, myopic, or both.

    January 18, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. Lucifer1

    I was being sarcastic by the way...

    January 18, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  21. Cynthia L.

    First off, the NRA is lying straight up. The Obama Administration proposed money for "Secure Our Schools" policing grants that would provide funding to improve school safety -CONGRESS NIXED the program in 2012.
    Secondly, in Obama's recent proposals have asked CONGRESS TO FUND the hiring of 15,000 laid off police officers from towns and cities that cut services due to economic (and political hogwash) reasons. Making them availible to any school who feels the need to have them, along with Counselors if that is what they wanted instead.

    January 18, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. james pfeiffer

    It is a breath of fresh air to hear a Republican speak with common sense. Obviously Governor Christie is a rare politician who is not afraid to buck the rhetorical lockstep of the "good ole boys" club. This kind of healthy, independent thinking is a rare thing in congress these days. Sadly, the majority of our elected officials are beholding to big money and sinister, anti-democratic cabals that have nothing to do with what is best for our country and its people...but about malignant greed gone viral.

    January 18, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. ARam78

    Gov. Christie is setting himself quite nicely for 2016. If Republicans are smart the will elect him in the primaries. Over 70% approval rating running a blue state and continues to call out members of his party for their irrational behavior, all he needs to do now is put Powell on the ticket and they will be a force to recken with. Christie is gaining the respect of rational Americans from both sides of the aisle. It should be an insteresting showdown between him and Hillary in 2016!!!

    January 18, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. DocHollywood

    At least there remains ONE leader in the republican party that is willing to stand up to rhetoric and fear mongering. I'm beginning to believe more and more that Christie will eventually be drummed out of the republican party for refusing to "toe the line". There's many things I disagree with as to his philosophical and political thinking, but clearly this is a man who is attempting to govern for the good of ALL his people, not just his republican constituents. I wish we had more politicians like him on both sides of the aisle.

    January 18, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  25. Big Jilm

    So is the NRA saying they would foot the bill on hiring all of these private security/secret service for schools across the nation? If not, then the only way to pay for all of that would be to either raise taxes and/or increase tuition at an alarming rate (only the rich would be able to afford security). And here I thought the GOP were against raising taxes.

    Doesn't sound like the NRA really thought this one through. Sounds to me like they just want to profit from more guns being sold ...kinda like they are right now since the tragedy (gun sales have gone through the roof).

    The NRA loves Democratic administrations because they work their base into extreme fear about loosing their guns that they buy a lot more, hence increasing sales. It's all about the money, folks.

    It's not the gun owners who are the problem; it's the fact that these gun runners will sell anything to anybody.

    Listening to advice from the NRA is like taking advice from Destro. Gun runners sell to all sides of all conflict, profiting off of accidents, fear, and destruction. They invest in corruption ...and that's the bottom line.

    January 18, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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